The Lord is my Shepherd…Fear Not

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Several years ago we visited Chattanooga, Tennessee and walked across the Holmberg Bridge. (pictured above)  The thought of walking on this translucent glass structure hung above a busy highway made me more than a little nervous, I must admit.  But, we did it.  I tried to focus on what was on the other side to get me through those frightful steps.

Unpleasant circumstances often come without warning in our day to day lives.  Maybe a bad medical report?  Maybe an income loss?  What is our response then?

Do we stick our head in the sand like an ostrich?  (as if that would solve anything!)  Do we park ourselves in the rocking chair of worry? (It gives us something to do, but takes us no where!)  Or do we immediately turn to prayer and consult the Almighty, Who holds all power in His hands?

When life presents situations that cause us to fear, our focus must remain on the One who calms the storms. (Mark 4:35-41)  Even the storms respond to His authority.  “Peace, be still.”  And, so it is with us today.  If we keep our eyes on Jesus and place our hand in His, He will be right there with us.  Sometimes He calms the storm and others, He walks us through the storm to build our faith for the next tempest or cyclone.

“The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need.  He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams.  He renews my strength.  He guides me along right paths, bringing honor to His name.  Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me.”  ~  Psalm 23:1-4a

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“Oh, the joys of those who do not follow evil men’s advice, who do not hang around with sinners, scoffing at the things of God.  But they delight in doing everything God wants them to, and day and night are always meditating on his laws and thinking about ways to follow him more closely.

They are like trees along a riverbank bearing luscious fruit each season without fail. Their leaves shall never wither, and all they do shall prosper.” ~ Psalm 1

How do we continue to bear fruit in every season?  By reading and studying the Word of God daily, allowing it to sink down deep into our souls and nourish every fiber of our being.  It is then that our roots grow even deeper.  I want to be like that tree bearing much fruit, don’t you?

I can recall seasons of tremendous trials and heartache as being landmarks of when I felt closest to God.  Why does God allow pain and suffering?  We may never know the complete answer this side of heaven, but we do know that God is good and He loves us with an everlasting love.  And, that’s a good place to hang our faith.

I challenge you to dig deep in the Scriptures and spend time in earnest prayer if you find yourself in a valley right now.  If you’re on the mountain top, praise Him for the experience and the view!  But, also know, that it’s during this time of revelry, that we should continue to strengthen our faith through the Word of God and prayer.  For, this Christian walk is replete with valleys and mountain top experiences, cycles of faith, trials and testimonies.  We can be sure of this:  We will never walk alone if we place our faith in God.

“Have you never heard?
Have you never understood?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
the Creator of all the earth.
He never grows weak or weary.
No one can measure the depths of his understanding.
He gives power to the weak
and strength to the powerless.
Even youths will become weak and tired,
and young men will fall in exhaustion.
But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.
They will soar high on wings like eagles.
They will run and not grow weary.
They will walk and not faint.” ~ Isaiah 40:28-31

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